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January 3, 2014

Next Star winner steps up to act


Mark Leiren-Young / Vancouver Sun

Some Assembly Required Debuts Monday at 6:30 p.m. on YTV.

The 15-year-old winner of YTV’s reality show singing competition The Next Star is doing her best to live up to her billing as one of the stars of YTV’s new teen sitcom, Some Assembly Required.

“Right after I finished The Next Star I was really wanting to expand my scope into acting,” Charlie Storwick told The Sun in a phone interview from the set of her new series. “So I got an agent and just started from there and now I’m here.”

A few auditions later, Storwick didn’t just land her first acting role but a series lead in Some Assembly Required – a sitcom about a teenager who takes over a toy factory. Storwick plays Piper Gray – the technical whiz who helps keep the assembly lines rolling.

“She’s definitely not your regular teenage girl,” says Storwick. “She’s very quick with technical things, she’s got a lot of attitude, she’s a lot of fun and she pretends that she doesn’t like people, but deep down she really does and she wants the company to succeed.” Her teen boss is played by Kolton Stewart (I Declare War, The Next Step).

The series is Thunderbird Films’ followup to their hit kids comedy Mr. Young and was created by the same writer, Dan Signer – this time in conjunction with Howard Nemetz (who wrote more than half the episodes for that series). Like Mr. Young, Some Assembly Required is shot live in front of a studio audience in Burnaby.

Most actors – regardless of age – might be intimidated by the idea of shooting a sitcom in front of a live studio audience, an American production style rarely used in Canada. But because of her singing background, performing in front of a crowd is Storwick’s idea of a good time. “Shooting live is amazing really, just having the energy and the laughs – it’s just a great atmosphere. I love it.”

The Calgary native has been performing for as long as she can remember. “If you ask my parents I’m sure they’ll tell you I was always up on the coffee table singing into like my Barbie plastic karaoke machine.” Storwick started writing her own songs at age nine, “when I picked up a keyboard.”

She had no trouble finding singing partners. “My family are all very musical and we all love acting and singing and dancing, so I was just surrounded by it my whole life.” Storwick’s road to stardom on Next started in Grade 6. The series was attracting a lot of attention from her classmates. “Everyone was going to try out for it and I thought I might as well. I’d never done an audition before and I just wanted to have the experience and it just took off.”

After being selected as one of the initial 16 contenders the field was cut to a half dozen and the finalists were sent to Ontario to rehearse and compete for six weeks as the cameras rolled.

“Next Star was super fun. It was my first experience with the film industry and I’m really grateful for that experience because I learned what a film schedule is like and how to get into the work and the music and the dancing and the training and I love it.”

She’s also loving acting. “I learn every day. I’m surrounded by really experienced, talented people and I’m really honoured to share the stage with them and work with them.”

Storwick’s mother, Theresa Storwick, told The Sun, “from Charlie’s very early life she has been strong in who she is as an individual and that is a message she stands for: Be exactly who you are and let everybody else be the best version of themselves as well.”

At some point Storwick’s hoping to take a bit of time off playing Piper to play tourist. “I haven’t really had time to go sightseeing but I’m definitely going to do that with my mom. Being from Calgary it snows all the time so I really love the rain.”

Check out Charlie Storwick’s songs can be seen and heard on YouTube. She has over one million hits for Good as Gone at http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=sUz4_eDuAFY She’s on Twitter and Instagram as @sooocharlie and @someassemblytv To be part of the studio audience email someassemblylive@gmail.com